The 2019 FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series is underway in Skolkovo, Russia, with twelve of the world’s best female chess players competing for £80,000, with £15,000 going to the winner. In the field are current Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun, her challenger Aleksandra Goryachkina, and 2019 Cairns Cup winner Valentina Gunina. The event runs through September 23rd.
Gunina leads the tournament after three rounds of play at 2.5/3. She is followed closely by Goryachkina, Harika Dronavalli, Ju Wenjun, and Humpy Koneru, all at 2/3.
Valentina Gunina (photo David Llada)
Harika Dronavalli (photo David Llada)
Aleksandra Goryachkina (photo David Llada)
Humpy Koneru (photo David Llada)
Ju Wenjun (photo David Llada)
Gunina got off to a quick start in Round 1 with this sharp win over Alina Kashlinskaya.
Gunina-Kashlinskaya (photo David Llada)
She followed it up by defeating her countrywoman Alexandra Kosteniuk in Round 2 after Kosteniuk pitched an exchange without sufficient compensation.
Koneru found a lovely attacking idea in Round 3 to take down Kashlinskaya in just 20 moves.
The Skolkovo Grand Prix is the first in a series of four events that will determine the 2019-2020 Women’s Grand Prix Winner. Upcoming are tournaments in Monaco (December 2-15), Lausanne (March 1-20), and Sardinia (May 20-June 10). An additional £80,000 will be distributed to the sixteen players in the Grand Prix series on the basis of their overall results.
Play resumes in Skolkovo tomorrow’s fourth round at 8am EDT. Live coverage is available at the FIDE YouTube channel. CLO will have periodic updates as the tournament progresses.